Joanna Figueroa wrote a curious thing in her book, "With Fabric & Thread".
In the Introduction, she wonders who will read her book and what things people will make from her patterns. I want Joanna to know that among what will surely be thousands of creations inspired from her book there is a very special, very pink quilt that was made by one kindred spirit for another - by one quilter for another - by one mother for another - as an expression of warmth, hope and above all, love.
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Somewhere between me planning this quilt and me finishing it I received some scary news. A very dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I've known too many women now who've faced this disease, but she is the first who is my age (younger, in fact). I met her 7 years ago when our oldest children were in the same pre-school class. But we didn't really connect then.
No, it took another full year later when our little ones were again in the same class. Quilting came up in a conversation we became fast friends.
After a while she started saying things to me like, "You HAVE to start a blog", "You HAVE to write your own patterns and sell them online" and other such silly nonsense I didn't understand. I'd never heard of a blog. I didn't know I could do anything online except buy stuff on eBay! LOL! I was totally clueless.
And as I'm apt to do if I don't understand something, I filed her words in a drawer in the back of my mind under "Sweet Encouragement That Makes No Sense".
And then she moved away. Four years ago last week, in fact. It was sad and painful for my soul. We kept in touch, a little.
(Note: I purposefully chose dotted prints for the backing. I wanted this quilt to feel very happy and I can't think of a happier print in the world than dots. And these polka dot/roses are most especially awesome for this quilt)
But then she did something that changed my life. No exaggeration. In fact, if it weren't for B, you and I would have probably never met. One day, quite out of the blue in January 2010, she sent me a book - Tara Frey's "Blogging for Bliss".
I shamefully admit now that when I first read the title I kinda felt like a kid on Christmas morning opening what was sure to be an amazing gift from Santa, only to be majorly disappointed by a pair of really ugly socks. I remember wondering why on earth she'd sent me THIS book! I don't know anything about this stuff ... I'm not even INTERESTED! I really thought she knew me better. I wished it had been a pretty quilting book or something like that. ("B, I know you're reading this ... tee hee!")
So I set it aside and forgot about it. Until many weeks later when my husband needed to be in the hospital for a few hours of testing (he's fine). I didn't want to pay for hospital parking, 'cause that's like at least a few FQs worth of change, but there's a Tim Horton's coffee shop across the street where I could park for free (less the cost of a cup of tea and a donut). I will never know why, exactly, but on my way out the door I grabbed that book and stuck it in my purse.
I was only a few pages into the book when doors started opening and lights started turning on to rooms in my mind I didn't know were there. NOW I get what B was trying to tell me! OMG I TOTALLY GET IT!!! THIS is what I want to do! I got really excited. Turns out she knew me better than I knew myself.
And now she needs a whole lot of love & support. I wish so badly I could be there to give her a hug and fix her a cup of tea and take her mind off things with idle chit chat about quilting and stitching and kids and stuff like we used to. But I can't. What I can do is send her my love the best way I know how. With my sewing. Funny how the universe made me make this pretty pink quilt ... that I KNOW she LOVES ... at this very exact moment in time.
I started this quilt for the pure joy of making things. And I finished it with the pure joy I have for my friendship with her.
I don't know what B will do with this quilt. I imagine she might snuggle under it while watching tv. Or nap with it when she's exhausted. Maybe wipe her tears on it when she's having a really down moment. Or barf on it while enduring chemo. Or hang it on the back of a chair or sofa as decoration. Or maybe even let her daughters play tea party on it.
It doesn't matter to me.
The only thing that matters is whenever she sees this quilt she will remember I love her and think the world of her and I'm sending her my very best thoughts and prayers ... always.
Love you B! xo